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Buffalo Bills News - September 7, 2003

Marker Changing face of the defense [4:49 AM]
Metro West Daily News reports: 'The Patriots' third-down efficiency ranked 26th last year, as the team allowed 95 first downs in 221 chances (43 percent).'

Marker Fourth down territory [4:48 AM]
Metro West Daily News reports: '4th Down -- Antowain Smith's Buffalo performance. In four games against his former team, Smith has rushed 86 times for 374 yards and four touchdowns, while adding a pair of touchdown receptions. He's been entrenched in a battle for snaps with Kevin Faulk, but his past outings vs. the Bills should get him more time.'

Marker Pats, Bills will prove whether familiarity breeds contempt [4:47 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Talk about must-see TV.'

Marker Pillars in their fields certainly put an interesting spin on Lawyer-ing [4:46 AM]
Providence Journal reports: '"A lawyer with his briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with guns."'

Marker Give Pats edge in battle among Gang of Four [4:45 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Buffalo: 10-6 -- This Bills defense will be good and that's what held them back last season. You have to love their cornerbacks, Nate Clements and Antoine Winfield, and the additions of linebacker Jeff Posey and Takeo Spikes and safety Lawyer Milloy makes their "back-seven" hard to deal with. Offensively, the loss of Peerless Price is significant. Eric Moulds was quarterback Drew Bledsoe's preferred target, but Price was nearly as explosive last year. Second-year man Josh Reed has great hands and is productive but his skill set doesn't match Price's. According to an NFC personnel man who scouted the Bills in the preseason, the offensive line is not giving Bledsoe enough time. Bledsoe went down 54 times in 2002 and that news doesn't bode well for 2003.'

Marker Pats know what it's like, have what it takes to win [4:44 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Season prediction: 12-4. Destination: AFC Championship vs. Tennessee.'

Marker Pre-camp predictions get further review [4:43 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Lawyer Milloy will demonstrate the wrong way to deal with questions about his ballooning contract by belligerently suggesting he's Ronnie Lott, Gary Fencik and Rod Woodson rolled into one.'

Marker Crunch Time [4:42 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'So they released him. Even though they knew it wasn't for the immediate best of the team, they felt it was best for the long term. A business decision. Every player has a ceiling price. And Milloy was past his.'

Marker Curtain raises on the soap opera [4:41 AM]
Woonsocket Call reports: 'For at least one week in Western New York, football will leapfrog professional wrestling as the official soap opera for men.'

Marker Thinking Pats, breathing Pats, sleeping Pats [4:40 AM]
Woonsocket Call reports: 'We don't know the guys who will play strong safety from Adam, but like a good Christian, I'll be saying my prayers when other teams try to go down the middle of the field. I'm sure that Coach Belichick got down on his knees and Brady made the right decision in cutting Milloy.There's no question that the Pats will miss Milloy's straight out of Compton toughness and intensity.'

Marker New England not overly prepared to take on Bills [4:39 AM]
Woonsocket Call reports: '"I think that on paper and on the practice field we are a better football team," argued Bledsoe. "We made some good additions defensively. Our offensive line has had another training camp to work together."'

Marker Another Twist In Buffalo [4:38 AM]
Hartford Courant reports: 'They finished 4-0 in the exhibition season for only the third time in their history, but much of that good karma vanished Monday when coach Bill Belichick dumped team captain and spiritual leader Lawyer Milloy because the four-time Pro Bowl choice refused to take a pay cut from the $4.4 million he was due in 2003.'

Marker It's time to measure up [4:37 AM]
Springfield Republican reports: 'Belichick has to wonder if his team is OK with the Milloy issue that broke only five days ago. He knows the players don't like it, even resent it, but he also undoubtedly expects them to play well in spite of those emotions. "Tuesday was a tough day," Belichick said, "but I think the overall concentration and focus on the field was good through the week. We'll be ready to go."'

Marker Brown leads by example [4:36 AM]
Springfield Republican reports: 'I think that every year. We've just got to go out and prove it.'

Marker How to fire a Lawyer [4:35 AM]
Springfield Republican reports: 'Milloy, as proud as they come, was apparently willing to take a sizable pay cut. He was also willing, if necessary, to test that open market - not always the friendliest of places at this time of the year. He did pretty well, though, with a reported 4-year, $15 million deal that included a $5 million signing bonus.'

Marker Donahoe making the right moves [4:34 AM]
Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports: 'Buffalo radio stations are calling Donahoe "the general manager of the century".'

Marker Milloy ouster leaves a New England frost [4:33 AM]
Baltimore Sun reports: 'The aftershocks are still rippling through New England.'

Marker Bills happy to pick up another Patriots castoff [4:32 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'Rumor has it someone in New England was leaking word that safety Lawyer Milloy's game had slipped. Buffalo president and general manager Tom Donahoe has heard that one before. It's a good one. That's how the Bills got quarterback Drew Bledsoe in 2002.'

Marker Ex-Patriots Bledsoe, Milloy ready to celebrate reunion [4:31 AM]
Seattle Times reports: 'Lawyer Milloy and Drew Bledsoe, ex-Patriots reunited, will have a common goal when the Buffalo Bills host the New England Patriots today: revenge.'

Marker Report: Milloy claims Redskins made offer before Patriots cut him [4:30 AM]
AP reports: 'Milloy said his agent, Carl Poston, ``called some teams to see who would want me'' before he was cut Tuesday, and added: ``The Redskins gave us a bigger offer than the Patriots.'''

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September 6, 2003

Marker Buffalo Bills Season Preview [7:09 PM] reports: 'Greg Williams has been a poor imitation of a coach on match day, however with the talent available to him the last couple of years he has done a passable job for the team overall and with new additions to the coaching staff his game day decisions should continue to improve from the most dire to respectable. He is hard working and does learn, however, and this year te team enters the season well prepared and healthy, with some success in the play-offs a reachable goal.'

Marker New England (9-7) at Buffalo (8-8) [6:58 PM]
Sportsticker reports: '"I know everybody wants to hype the Bledsoe story again, but the important part is that we want to beat Buffalo, a division team," Belichick said. "If you want to do well in your division you have to do well against the division teams."'

Marker Milloy raises anticipation for latest Bledsoe Bowl [4:50 PM]
AP reports: 'As season openers go, this is far from being another game. ''It's starting to turn into like the old backyard brawl, you know, guys are switching sides,'' Bills tight end Dave Moore said. ''It's good, it just adds to the whole drama of it.'' Or a potential bad dream. ''That would be a nightmare,'' Patriots fullback Larry Centers said, when asked to consider the prospect of the Bills and Milloy combining for a victory.'

Marker Questionable timing [4:46 PM]
CNN/SI reports: Milloy, a four-time Pro Bowl safety with the Patriots, signed with the Bills Thursday and is likely to make his Buffalo debut Sunday against New England in a poetic-justice sort of season opener for both teams. Those headlines could soon be eclipsed by questions over whether his agent, Carl Poston, was in contact with other NFL teams before the Patriots released Milloy.

Marker Hungry Henry shoots for the moon [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I love competing because it brings out the best in you," he said. "Whenever he gets healthy and they decide to put him out there, it's going to make us better. I know it's going to make me better."'

Marker Milloy itching to face former mates [8:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Milloy offered one anecdote from the practice. "It felt weird when I was running scout team cards and I was actually playing myself," Milloy said.'

Marker M&T Bank, Choice One sign sponsorship deals with Bills [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Companies like to become "official" product or service providers of NFL teams to promote their brands with the NFL's loyal fan base.'

Marker Moulds says Bledsoe pressed [5:16 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Bledsoe Bowl III, taking place Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium, features more twists than a box of nightcrawlers. Three ex-Bills (Antowain Smith, Ted Washington, Larry Centers) face three-ex-Patriots (Bledsoe, Sam Gash, Lawyer Milloy), none leaving their former team with a Christmas card list for the front office.'

Marker Team is happy to pay big bucks for a good Lawyer [5:15 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'The Patriots had until 4 p.m. Tuesday to resolve the issue or they would’ve been obligated to pay Milloy his full salary. Under a tight deadline, the sides never came to an agreement but were only $600,000 apart at the end of talking.'

Marker Milloy's game plan is a secret [5:14 AM]
Boston Globe reports: '"If anybody has the ball, they've got to get hit," he said. "That's how I play. I never try to see numbers. I never try to see, you know, personalities or fame. We all line up the same. And I think everyone in the league, and not just the Patriots, knows what I bring to the table. That's what I bring to the game."'

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